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I Want Them To…

May 09, 2023
An AI-generated image of a wide shot of a classic library.

Hello Dear Readers,

I love working with college students. It is a pivotal moment in their lives. They come to college with bright eyes and full of dreams.

During their first year of college, students are faced with many challenges. They must navigate a new environment, a new city, and a new life without the daily support system they have relied on for the past 18+ years (their parents).

I consider it a privilege to walk alongside them for 2-4 years as they discover who they are and take steps toward becoming who they want to be.

For 16 weeks, Monday through Friday, I stand in front of my students and try to help them reconcile what they are learning with what they see in the media.

This is not an easy task.

They are inundated with images of hate, divisive politics, and inconsistent messages. On Tuesday, the messages they are hearing will come to a head in the midterm elections. We’ve been following the twists and turns of the past several months blow by blow.

So, what do I tell them on Monday or Wednesday? How do I give them hope in what appears to be a dark time for all?

I talk about values. I instill in them that knowing what you value and understanding what others value is the key to effective communication.

I do not care who they vote for. I do not want to change their core values. I want them to stand up for those values, and I want them to do so in a way that respects the voices of all.

I want them to speak truth to power.

I want them to listen to the other side. I want them to try to find where our values intersect and work together to solve our differences.

I want them to participate in the process and, if they do not like the outcome, to take action to change it.

I want them to take the time to understand the other side. I want them to realize we have more in common than we think, but we prioritize our values differently. I want them to know that is ok.

I want them to welcome other viewpoints, know that if someone disagrees with them, it will not harm them, and see it as an opportunity to learn.

I want them to not face an identity crisis if their values change. I want them to be informed about all viewpoints and able to represent all sides fairly.

I want them to find hope in our country and see the possibility of the future.

If we can all do this, we will create a better society for tomorrow.

 

Originally posted November 4, 2018 


The image was created by Midjourney using the following prompt: A library from a classic academic university. The library is full of people, and the wide shot is breathtaking and full of learning.

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